the semicolon project

Wise words: And as always, ask for help. Never fear admitting you need more than you can give yourself -Heather Parrie. Very wise words.


FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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Why this executive never works on the weekend

Give yourself a break and be better for it


MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is your Sunday routine? is written by Liz Wiseman, president of Wiseman Group.

The French artist Paul Gauguin once said, “I shut my eyes in order to see.” On Sundays, I shut out the world. For me, it’s a Sabbath observance, an opportunity to rest from responsibilities and focus on other purposeful activities, such as devotion and family.

Every Sunday, after going to church (which in my faith literally takes longer than running a marathon), I plop down on my couch and read until it is time to drive to our weekly family dinners–a tradition built over the last 20 years. While my Sunday routine varies somewhat, there is one thing that remains consistent: I don’t work. I’ve come to really appreciate the power of…

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Go on and fool me

Thoughts on how we approach pain management in the ED


I have a low threshold to pain. When I walk by a room and happen to see a patient squirming and crying in pain, I feel a compulsive urge to make sure that someone is dealing with the matter. As mostly, the best source of information is the patient, so I put my hand on their shoulder and say – I can see that you are in a lot of pain. Is anyone helping you out here?

If the answer is no, I offer a warm blanket and go and ask the nurses to provide some analgesia. Sometimes that means paracetamol or ibuprofen, sometimes it means opiates. For patients in severe pain it can mean all of the above and in high doses. For heroinists I order doses that the nurses refuse to administrate.

The same goes for patients who need prescriptions for their pain medications. Some of them have…

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7 ways to practice emotional first aid

Psychologist Guy Winch lays out seven useful ways to reboot your emotional health … starting right now.

You put a bandage on a cut or take antibiotics to treat an infection, right? No questions asked. In fact, questions would be asked if you didn’t apply first aid when necessary. So why isn’t the same true of our mental health? We are expected to just “get over” psychological wounds — when as anyone who’s ever ruminated over rejection or agonized over a failure knows only too well, emotional injuries can be just as crippling as physical ones. We need to learn how to practice emotional first aid. Here are 7 ways to do so:

  1. Pay attention to emotional pain — recognize it when it happens and work to treat it before it feels all-encompassing.
    The body evolved the sensation of physical pain to alert us that something is wrong and we need to address it. The…

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Lumbar Puncture

Did my first LP tonight! Super helpful refresher beforehand 🙂


Say what?

This procedure is performed to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid.

Emergency department indications

A lumbar puncture is only indicated in the emergency department to diagnose or rule out:1

  • CNS infection
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage in a patient with a negative CT scan
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Any contraindications?

There are no absolute contraindications, and the risks of the procedure have to be considered since data regarding relative contraindications is lacking. Be cautious if your patient has:1,2

  • thrombocytopenia, bleeding disorders or on anticoagulation
  • concern for increased intracranial pressure
  • suspected lumbar epidural abscess
  • local infection at the puncture site


This video will walk you through all the steps (start at 1:52):

Ultra-brief summary:
1. Obtain consent
2. Position the patient
3. Determine the puncture site
4. Clean the puncture site with antiseptic solution
5. Drape the skin
6. Infiltrate local anesthetic into the skin and deeper tissues overlying the…

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Trauma dog in a Calgary court a Canadian first

Global News

WATCH: The prospect of having to testify in court is stressful for any victim, especially a child. In Calgary, a judge allowed a young girl to have a trauma dog at her side, as she took a stand in a sexual assault time. Reid Fiest reports on a Canadian first.

The halls of justice and Hawk the dog are coming together to make history. In a Canadian first, the trauma dog sat inside a Calgary courtroom, on the witness stand, supporting a witness giving testimony.

Sgt. Brent Hutt of the Calgary Police Service and his 4-year-old lab sat with a young girl and her brother in a sexual assault trial.

“So he’ll be there with the witness when they’re testifying, just to be there to offer that support,” said Hutt.

Alberta law allows for people to support vulnerable witnesses, but the courts made an exception to approve Hawk.

The accused’s…

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No End in Sight: Academic Research and “Time Off”

The sweet freedom of surrendering to enjoying your work and letting go of the “shoulds”. Great article!

judgmental observer


“Can you read these words to me, Amanda?” my first grade teacher asked, pointing at the cover of The Wheedle on the Needle. I shook my head and smiled, thinking this was some kind of trick. How the hell would I know how to read those letters? Later, I asked my friends if they had been able to decipher the book cover, assuming they were as lost as I had been. “The Wheedle on the Needle,” my friend replied, almost casually. The others nodded and I felt betrayed: when did everyone learn to read? This was 1983, when it was not assumed that children would enter kindergarten knowing how to read. But still, somehow, between kindergarten and first grade, I had fallen behind my peers.

Soon after my fateful reading test our teacher sorted us into reading groups. I was, of course, placed in the “remedial” reading group while all of my friends…

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